Gift Options

"As director, I've come to an even stronger appreciation of the greatness of this institution and its generosity to the public in so many forms. Howard and I are glad to repay the Folger's many gifts to us with a bequest."

—Gail Kern Paster, director emerita and First Folio Society member

There are many ways to make a significant charitable contribution to the Folger. All of these options can benefit the Library while also protecting and enhancing your personal financial situation.

Gifts by will, and other revocable provisions

Bequest

This most common planned gift allows you to retain control to change terms during your lifetime. To make a bequest, simply include the Folger in your will. You can find sample bequest language here. Charitable bequests are fully tax-deductible from your estate’s assets, allowing you to potentially save considerable estate taxes.

There is no minimum required to include a bequest in your will. To enroll in the First Folio Society, we ask that the potential of your gift be a minimum of $5,000.

Life insurance

Make a gift by transferring a paid-up policy or by naming the Folger as the owner of a non-paid-up policy.

Minimum amount varies.

Retirement plans

Simply name the Folger as beneficiary of the remainder of your retirement assets from IRA, 401k, 403b, or other qualified plans and avoid double taxation. Before the remaining funds from these accounts can be distributed to heirs, income taxes and estate taxes must normally be paid. You can avoid both the income and estate tax by naming the Folger as the beneficiary of your remaining assets, meaning that the amount the Folger receives is far more than what would otherwise go to your heirs. This option does not involve an attorney, and is simple—all one has to do is access the beneficiary page on the plan's website, and add the Folger.

There is no minimum required to name the Folger as beneficiary of your retirement plan. To enroll in the First Folio Society, we ask that the potential of your gift be a minimum of $5,000.

Life income plans

Charitable gift annuity 

Provide a generous future gift to the Folger while securing a fixed life income and avoiding market risk. A charitable gift annuity is a contract between a donor and the Folger by which the Folger agrees to pay the donor and/or another named beneficiary a fixed income each year for their lifetime(s). This payment is secured by the full assets of the Library and will not change regardless of fluctuations in the stock market or the economy in general. Minimum amount: $10,000

Deferred charitable gift annuity

Delay income payments from your charitable gift annuity for a future time, such as retirement.

Minimum amount: $10,000

Charitable remainder unitrust

Make a gift that can create a life income, with a hedge against inflation, and can support more than one charity. A charitable remainder unitrust is a special type of gift plan that enables donors to transfer cash, securities, real estate, or other assets for the future benefit of the Folger, while retaining the right to name one or more persons, including the donor, to receive a generous income (a fixed percentage of the trust's assets each year) for a period of time—usually for life.

Minimum amount: $100,000

Pooled income funds

Create a variable life income and allow for growth of your gift by joining one of two offered pooled trust funds. The pooled income funds accept gifts from many individuals and "pool" them together for investment purposes. Every three months the income earned by the funds is distributed to the participants based on their proportional share of the total fund. When the last person named to receive the income passes away, that portion of the fund principal associated with the gift is made available to support the Folger.

Minimum amount: $10,000

Other gift options 

Alternative gifts options include: undeveloped land, residences, tangible personal property, closely held stock, limited partnerships, or other non-traditional assets.

Tax information

The Folger's Federal Employer Tax ID is 04-2103542. The Folger Shakespeare Library is administered by a Board of Governors under the auspices of Amherst College, founder Henry Clay Folger’s alma mater. Therefore, the Trustees of Amherst College are the official body under which the Folger is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service under sections 501(c)(3) and 509(a)(1) of the tax code.

The Folger’s planned giving program is offered through Amherst College, providing sophisticated investment management and high quality gift administration.

For more information, or to notify us that you have already included the Folger in your estate plans, please contact Winnie Harrington Robinson, senior development officer for major gifts, at (202) 675-0377 or wrobinson@folger.edu. Inquiries are confidential and carry no obligation.

"As director, I've come to an even stronger appreciation of the greatness of this institution and its generosity to the public in so many forms. Howard and I are glad to repay the Folger's many gifts to us with a bequest."

—Gail Kern Paster, director emerita and First Folio Society member